The fact that South Africa’s economy is not doing as well as many sure hope, might be a reason to look into e-commerce and the opportunities it might offer for running a successful business. And that maybe even on the international scale. But the big question is, what is the right way to launch an ecommerce store in South Africa.
Based on my experience the easiest way to start an online store is by using a so-called e-commerce platform, basically an online based software that you can use to easily build your store. However, as there are lot of different e-commerce platforms, one might be wondering what the best choice for those from South Africa would be. From below you can find a suggestion.
The Best E-commerce Platform for South Africa?
Shopify is a real powerhouse company and has become a huge success among both those just looking to launch a small ecommerce business and among those who are running a huge brand. And in fact, there are currently over 1 million businesses using Shopify’s service.
So, what are the key benefits of Shopify? For one it is very easy to create a nice-looking webstore using their software. I myself was able to do a reasonably good store in one evening, even though I had very little previous experience with anything like Shopify.
Secondly, the pricing of Shopify is in my opinion quite reasonable: the regular plans start at just $29/month (USD) and you don’t have to commit to long-term contract – if you find out that Shopify or even e-commerce in itself is not for you, you can just cancel your contract.
Thirdly, Shopify is a really big company and, in my opinion, also extremely safe. Those things are obviously nice when you are looking to run an online business – especially as when you are doing it, you need to be able to convince people to pay on your site.
And lastly, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, and during that time you should be able to easily figure out if Shopify is the best choice when it comes to you, South Africa and e-commerce. Check out Shopify.
Another good option for founders from South Africa
One possible issue with Shopify is that their development of the platform seems to have slowed down considerably: they are just not introducing many new features and improvements. And if you are looking for a good e-commerce platform that continues to get better, BigCommerce might worth trying. Just recently BigCommerce did a big update on their platform and made their store builder considerably easier to use (although Shopify is still bit easier to use).
Just like with Shopify, with BigCommerce it is also possible to design a professional looking online store quickly. BigCommerce’s prices start from $29.95/month and they give new users a 15-day free trial. The major payment gateways South African founders can use on BigCommerce include, according to BigCommerce, BlueSnap, NMI and Paymetric. Test BigCommerce for free.
Third option worth considering – recommended especially for those with a WordPress website
While I do think that Shopify is the best option for launching an online store in 2020 and Bigcommerce is also pretty great, I did want to mention a third – bit different – option that might be worth considering. That option is WooCommerce. With WooCommerce one can build an online store on a website that already has WordPress installed. And what is particularly great about WooCommerce is that, it is free – although with quite limited options (it is possible and easy to buy plugins that add more functionality). WordPress is also free, but if you don’t currently have a WordPress website you need to buy hosting and there is also bit of a learning curve with it. See WooCommerce’s website for more information about it.
Looking for more solid e-commerce platforms? Check out our overall best 2020 e-commerce platforms -list.